Ricci announces his retirement from refereeing

Brazilian referee Sandro Ricci, recently returned from the 2018 World Cup in Russia and participated in the recording of the program Altas Horas, Rede Globo, that will air this Saturday, 21 July 2018. Ricci stated in the program that he will retire from refereeing after having participated in the World Cup. 
Ricci achieved a great feat with his two consecutive World Cups, totaling 6 games, which puts him only behind Carlos Simon, with 7 games in 3 editions (2002, 2006 and 2010). It is not yet certain what will be the future of Ricci in the sporting environment. He is a public employee and currently works for the Ministry of Mines and Energy. One of the suspicions is that he could join the team of TV Globo refereeing commentators, since Arnaldo Cezar Coelho, who refereed the 1982 World Cup final in Spain, also announced his retirement at the end of the World Cup and should only work until December, when his contract ends. All three referees mentioned (Ricci, Simon and Coelho) were biographed in the book "Great Referees of Brazilian Football", recently released.

Source: RefNews

Referee Diedhiou welcomed as hero in Senegal and then retired

Since Senegal was eliminated in the first round of the 2018 World Cup, the referee Malang Diedhiou raised the colours of the country of Teranga by officiating as referee in the Round of 16 (Belgium - Japan) and as fourth official in the match for third place.
This is why the referee and his assistants Djibril Camara and El Hadji Samba were treated to a real welcome of stars on their return from Russia, when they arrived at the Dakar airport. A large crowd was present and sang songs and danced, followed by a reception organized to honour them. (Source: Afrik-Foot)
On Thursday, 19 July 2018, on the premises of the officers' mass circle, Senegalese referee Malang Diedhiou announced his international retirement. Taking advantage of the Sargal ceremony for the Senegalese world cup referees (Malang Diedhiou, Djibril Camara and El Hadji Samba), the native of Badiana, Malang Diedhiou officially announced his international retirement with immediate effect. It was a well-thought-out release that concludes an international career rich in emotions. Note that the statement was made in the presence of Sports Minister Matar Ba, representatives of the Senegalese Football Federation, as well as all components of the Senegalese sports world. Beforehand, the sports minister awarded the trio of referees present in Russia at the World Cup, diplomas of honour. It was a way to magnify their remarkable journey that not only highlighted the Senegalese refereeing, but especially the African one. Ending his speech, Malang Diedhiou thanked one of the pioneers of the Senegalese refereeing, Badara Sene, for his essential role and his invaluable investment in the promotion of referees. (Source: Dakaractu)

Lupp: “We were not told by FIFA that it should have been penalty kick”

Stefan Lupp, 40, has specialized 10 years ago as an assistant referee. He assisted Felix Brych in the Olympic Games 2012, the Confederations Cup 2013, the World Cups 2014 and 2018, the Euro 2016 and the Club World Cup 2017. In 2017, he was in the final of the Champions League, 2014 in the Europa League final and 2015 in the German Cup final. Lupp spoke with SportBuzzer for the first time after the World Cup in Russia about the harsh criticism of Serbian coach Mladen Krstajic, the reasons for leaving early the World Cup and the VAR lessons. 
- How big is the disappointment that you had to leave the World Cup after only one game? 
- After almost two weeks at home I feel better. But the disappointment is still there. 
- What explanation was given by FIFA for your premature end? 
- There was no reason provided. 
- How was the decision communicated to you? 
- In Brazil 2014, all referees who were not retained have been announced in a meeting where we got a medal and could say goodbye to all colleagues, because friendships have emerged. This time, the referees who had to go home received an email telling them to attend a meeting late at night, where it was then communicated to us personally. 
- There was a lot of criticism from Serbia for the missed penalty against Switzerland. How do you see the decision in hindsight? 
- We analyzed the situation and came to the conclusion that we have nothing to blame! If we made the decision the other way around, there would have been criticism from Switzerland. The decision is in our view still 50:50; there was no black and white. Therefore, there was no reason for the VAR to intervene. Brych told Zwayer that he saw a foul on the Swiss player; Zwayer saw the same thing and did not have to intervene. 
- There were speculations that Brych could have ignored Zwayer and was therefore sent home. 
- That was not the case; there was no communication from the VAR in that situation. If we had actually ignored a hint from the VAR, we would have had to live with the departure. 
- Was the appointment of a German referee to a Swiss game not appropriate? 
- It was already discussed, because the Swiss and we speak German. Immediately after the match Serbian coach Mladen Krstajic said that he does not comment on the referee's performance until the day after the full broadcast came. 
- Krstajic said about Brych: "I would send him to The Hague". There is the UN war crimes tribunal. 
- That was unacceptable and I have not experienced it that way; that is incredible. We have been criticized a lot, have experienced a lot, but that was probably the worst abuse we had to endure. 
- Serbian captain Aleksandar Kolarov subsequently criticized Felix Brych for speaking German with the Swiss players: "I kept asking them to speak English", he said. 
- That does not correspond to the facts. Felix spoke German, of course, in the heat of the game, but he was never asked by Serbians to speak English. Basically, I think that was not against the person Brych, but was said to get as much media attention as possible. In the end, we were so much in their focus that it became difficult to get another match. 
- What did the referee assessor say after the game? 
- We were not told in the evaluation that there should have been a penalty kick in this situation. As a result, we still believed that the decision will be supported. 
- Pierluigi Collina, head of FIFA Referees Committee, did not support you after the match. 
- That was also a difficult situation for him: If he would had said that it was a mistake, the VAR would be in the criticism. If he would had said that the decision was correct, there would have been further criticism from Serbia. 
- After the early departure of Germany you were already seen as possible referees for the World Cup final. Did you have any hopes for that? 
- We did not think that far. We went there with the goal to get a game in the knock-out round, since we did not have that in 2014. That was, I think, not presumptuous. But after the Switzerland - Serbia match we already felt that it would be difficult. 
- Do you think that this game will have a long-term impact on your international career? 
- Of course, it will be difficult to get future matches of Serbia, since FIFA and UEFA are certainly very sensitive. But otherwise I do not think that it has any further effects. 
- You said before the World Cup that you are curious how the video referee works because he was not practiced in some countries before. Are you pleasantly surprised? 
- It went much better than expected, so you can draw a positive conclusion. After all, such a World Cup is all about being satisfied: the players, the coaches, the officials, the fans. If the referee goes to the screen and then says “I have seen the same”, that leads to a very large acceptance. But of course, any corrected decision by the VAR is a mistake made by the referee. I think that without the video screen one or the other referee would not have been scheduled. Luckily, they did not have to discuss about wrong decisions later. 
- What can be brought from there to Bundesliga, where the VAR is in the criticism? 
- FIFA had two great instructors, Roberto Rosetti and Carlos Velasco Carballo, who had the benefit of having had one year of experience since the launch. We could take a lot out of it. In addition, we had very many courses and there were four instead of two VARs, with one of them only responsible for the offside. And the technology is amazing. In Bundesliga we had no offside lines, at the World Cup we even had images in 3D. And there you see, how wrong many offside lines have been pulled by the TV so far. The main criticism in the second half of the Bundesliga was indeed the offside. I hope that these things will also come to the Bundesliga and help the VAR to gain more acceptance. 

Source: SportBuzzer

A new era: Refereeing and VAR

A few days after Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana signalled the final whistle, FIFA looks back extremely satisfied with how the referees performed at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ and how the historic implementation of Video Assistant Referees (VARs) contributed to the resounding success of refereeing at the tournament. “We said we wanted this to be the best World Cup ever and it’s been the best World Cup ever. A crucial role in this achievement was played by the referees who excelled with performances of the highest standard," said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. Following the fundamental decision to use VARs at the World Cup, FIFA is extremely happy with the overwhelming acceptance of VAR by players, coaches, fans and the media. 
FIFA’s Deputy Secretary General (Football), Zvonimir Boban, who oversaw the entire VAR project, underlined the importance of the revolutionary use of video technology to football. “As said by the FIFA President, VAR is not changing football, it is cleaning football, and this was our overriding aim when we started the VAR project together with The IFAB. The extensive preparation, both before and during the tournament, coordinated and guided by the chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee Pierluigi Collina and FIFA’s Director of Refereeing, Massimo Busacca, has produced outstanding results and I am proud to have been part of this team.” The implementation of VAR represented a huge talking point during the World Cup, generating fantastic debate about football and its rules. “It is great that there has been such widespread discussion, but only fully understanding the Laws of the Game and VAR procedures gives credibility to these discussions," added Boban. Building on the success of refereeing and the use of VAR at the World Cup, FIFA will continue its efforts to improve and develop overall standards of refereeing and assist all member associations and leagues wishing to implement VAR in their competitions. 

Source: FIFA

UEFA U-19 Euro 2018 – Group Stage (Matchday 2)

19 July 2018
Finland – Norway
Referee: Jonathan Lardot (BEL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Bojan Zobenica (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Bryngeir Valdimarsson (ISL)
Fourth Official: Sandro Schärer (SUI)
Referee Observer: Bo Karlsson (SWE)

Portugal – Italy
Referee: Bartosz Frankowski (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Ian Bird (WAL)
Assistant Referee 2: Joakim Nilsson (SWE)
Fourth Official: Andrew Dallas (SCO)
Referee Observer: Karen Nalbandyan (ARM)

20 July 2018
Ukraine – England
Referee: Manuel Schüttengruber (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Aron Härsing (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Uroš Stojković (SRB)
Fourth Official: Petri Viljanen (FIN)
Referee Observer: Jouni Hyytiä (FIN)

Turkey – France
Referee: Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexandru Cerei (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Damir Lazić (BIH)
Fourth Official: Ville Nevalainen (FIN)
Referee Observer: Nikolai Levnikov (RUS)

AIA: "Irrati saved the World Cup"

The president of the Italian Referees Association (AIA) praises Massimiliano Irrati, the head of the VAR team appointed to the World Cup final: "He helped Pitana make the right decision; I do not know what would have happened without that penalty kick". And he consoles Rocchi: "He was up there, but after Rizzoli four years ago..."
There was no Gianluca Rocchi to referee the final, to whom the Argentinian Pitana was preferred, but the Italian referees nevertheless made a decisive contribution during France - Croatia. Merit of Massimiliano Irrati, head of the VAR team designated for the conclusive act of the World Cup. For Marcello Nicchi, president of the Italian Referees Association, "Irrati saved the World Cup, he was the creator of a fundamental decision". The head of the Italian referees refers to the decision taken on the occasion of the penalty kick awarded to France in the first half, when Perisic touched the ball with his hand in the penalty area. Pitana first awarded a corner kick, then followed the indication of colleagues at the VAR, looked at the images and awarded the penalty kick. "Without that penalty kick to France I do not know what would have happened", underlines Nicchi at Radio Anch'io Sport of Radio1. Then he commented the exclusion of Rocchi: "For us, Rocchi was in the final, but FIFA will have made their evaluations and I would say that he did well. Rocchi did perfectly what he had to do, I felt it daily. He expected a little more, but he is very satisfied, one might say that in the end one was worth the other perhaps, but it is not so, we must respect the political operations, the various components and the various federations. Since another Italian, Rizzoli, refereed the last final, it was predictable that it could happen not to hit the target. To Rocchi cannot be attributed anything, I would have seen him well in place of Pitana". And he adds: "Our referees are the most sought-after in the world, we have an association that never reached this level".
The debate has already started on the possibility of establishing a single central "VAR room" also in Serie A, following the example of the World Cup. A hypothesis that, at least for the moment, does not seem to convince Nicchi: "It depends on the strategic and economic possibilities of the League. The last year we worked very well in the VAR room at the stadium: if they want to experiment with other systems is fine, but leave the certain for the uncertain". But Italy remains at the forefront: "We have reached these levels because the referees are a more important component than ever, for example without us there would never have been the VAR".

UEFA Europa League – First Qualifying Round (Second Leg)

17-19 July 2018

FC Shkupi – Rangers
Referee: Halil Umut Meler (TUR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Kerem Ersoy (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: İbrahim Uyarcan (TUR)
Fourth Official: Koray Gençerler (TUR)
Referee Observer: Martin Ingvarsson (SWE)

Levski Sofia – FC Vaduz
Referee: Robert Harvey (IRL)
Assistant Referee 1: Robert Clarke (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Wayne McDonnell (IRL)
Fourth Official: Raymond Matthews (IRL)
Referee Observer: Jan Wegereef (NED)

Budapest Honvéd – FK Rabotnički
Referee: Marius Avram (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mircea Orbuleț (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Vladimir Urzică (ROU)
Fourth Official: Iulian Călin (ROU)
Referee Observer: David Malcolm (NIR)

FK Željezničar – Narva Trans
Referee: George Găman (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mircea Grigoriu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Mitruți (ROU)
Fourth Official: Sebastian Colțescu (ROU)
Referee Observer: Vencel Tóth (HUN)

Tobol Kostanay – FC Samtredia
Referee: Tihomir Pejin (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Goran Pataki (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Marjan Tomas (CRO)
Fourth Official: Zdenko Lovrić (CRO)
Referee Observer: László Vágner (HUN)

Kairat Almaty – UE Engordany
Referee: Jovan Kaludjerović (MNE)
Assistant Referee 1: Danijel Dević (MNE)
Assistant Referee 2: Vladan Todorović (MNE)
Fourth Official: Predrag Radovanović (MNE)
Referee Observer: Jiří Ulrich (CZE)

Irtysh Pavlodar – FK Trakai
Referee: Luca Barbeno (SMR)
Assistant Referee 1: Francesco Lunardon (SMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Salvatore Tuttifrutti (SMR)
Fourth Official: Raffaele Delvecchio (SMR)
Referee Observer: Kostadin Gerginov (BUL)

FC Viitorul - Union Lëtzebuerg
Referee: Aleksandr Aliyev (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 1: Aleksandr Pavlov (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 2: Yuriy Tikhonyuk (KAZ)
Fourth Official: Artyom Kuchin (KAZ)
Referee Observer: Sabri Çelik (TUR)

Dinamo Minsk – Derry City
Referee: Jens Maae (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Heine Sørensen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Victor Skytte (DEN)
Fourth Official: Morten Krogh (DEN)
Referee Observer: Pavel Saliy (KAZ)

KF Laçi – Anorthosis Famagusta
Referee: Donatas Rumšas (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Dovydas Sužiedėlis (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Arūnas Šeškus (LTU)
Fourth Official: Robertas Valikonis (LTU)
Referee Observer: Yuri Baskakov (RUS)

Gandzasar Kapan – Lech Poznań
Referee: Mohammed Al-Hakim (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mehmet Culum (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Hallberg (SWE)
Fourth Official: Bojan Pandzic (SWE)
Referee Observer: Michális Koukoulákis (GRE)

Nõmme Kalju – Stjarnan
Referee: Giorgi Kruashvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 1: Levan Varamishvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 2: Zaza Pipia (GEO)
Fourth Official: Davit Kharitonashvili (GEO)
Referee Observer: Zoran Petrović (SRB)

Slavia Sofia – Ilves Tampere
Referee: Nenad Djokić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Nemanja Petrović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dejan Petrović (SRB)
Fourth Official: Igor Stojiljković (SRB)
Referee Observer: Haim Jakov (ISR

Molde FK – Glenavon FC
Referee: Alexandru Tean (MDA)
Assistant Referee 1: Anatolie Bodean (MDA)
Assistant Referee 2: Victor Mardari (MDA)
Fourth Official: Piotr Stoianov (MDA)
Referee Observer: Luc Wilmes (LUX)

Gżira United – Radnički Niš
Referee: Suren Baliyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 1: Erik Arevshatyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 2: Vanik Simonyan (ARM)
Fourth Official: Artak Simonyan (ARM)
Referee Observer: Gylfi Thór Orrason (ISL)

Riga FC – CSKA Sofia
Referee: Furkat Atazhanov (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 1: Yevgeniy Belskiy (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 2: Aydyn Tasybayev (KAZ)
Fourth Official: Arman Ismuratov (KAZ)
Referee Observer: Aleksandr Gvardis (RUS)

Slovan Bratislava – Milsami Orhei
Referee: Nejc Kajtazovič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Matej Žunič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Manuel Vidali (SVN)
Fourth Official: Mitja Žganec (SVN)
Referee Observer: Petteri Kari (FIN)

Žalgiris Vilnius – KÍ Klaksvík
Referee: Milovan Milačić (MNE)
Assistant Referee 1: Milutin Djukić (MNE)
Assistant Referee 2: Veselin Radunović (MNE)
Fourth Official: Miloš Savović (MNE)
Referee Observer: Asim Xudiyev (AZE)

FC Prishtina – Fola Esch
Referee: Urs Schnyder (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Köbeli (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Efe Kurnazca (SUI)
Fourth Official: Alain Bieri (SUI)
Referee Observer: Peter Fröjdfeldt (SWE)

Dinamo Tbilisi – Dunajská Streda
Referee: Dimitar Mečkarovski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 1: Dejan Nedelkoski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Goce Petreski (MKD)
Fourth Official: Dejan Jakimovski (MKD)
Referee Observer: Vasyl Melnychuk (UKR)

Apollon Limassol – FC Stumbras
Referee: Eldorjan Hamiti (ALB)
Assistant Referee 1: Ridiger Çokaj (ALB)
Assistant Referee 2: Egin Doda (ALB)
Fourth Official: Kreshnik Cjapi (ALB)
Referee Observer: Kevin Azzopardi (MLT)

Zaria Bălți – Górnik Zabrze
Referee: Rəhim Hasanov (AZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaşar Abbasov (AZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Akif Amirali (AZE)
Fourth Official: Rauf Cabbarov (AZE)
Referee Observer: Ioánnis Tsachilídis (GRE)

FK Vardar – FC Pyunik
Referee: Ian McNabb (NIR)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephen Bell (NIR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ryan Kelsey (NIR)
Fourth Official: Thomas Clarke (NIR)
Referee Observer: Rusmir Mrković (BIH)

AIK – Shamrock Rovers
Referee: Nicolas Laforge (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Laurent Conotte (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Karel De Rocker (BEL)
Fourth Official: Wim Smet (BEL)
Referee Observer: Andrejs Sipailo (LVA)

Shakhtyor Soligorsk – Nomads FC
Referee: Admir Šehović (BIH)
Assistant Referee 1: Sreten Udovičić (BIH)
Assistant Referee 2: Amer Macić (BIH)
Fourth Official: Zoran Grbić (BIH)
Referee Observer: Salustià Ciprés (AND)

Maccabi Tel Aviv – Ferencvárosi TC
Referee: Hugo Miguel (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ricardo Ferreira (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Miguel (POR)
Fourth Official: Hélder Azevedo (POR)
Referee Observer: Vladimir Antonov (MDA)

Keşla FK – Balzan FC
Referee: Mikhail Vilkov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Aleksey Vorontsov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Vladimir Minevich (RUS)
Fourth Official: Aleksey Sukhoy (RUS)
Referee Observer: Stephen Lodge (ENG)

Sarpsborg FF – ÍBV Vestmannaeyjar
Referee: Genc Nuza (KVX)
Assistant Referee 1: Fatlum Berisha (KVX)
Assistant Referee 2: Bujar Selimaj (KVX)
Fourth Official: Visar Kastrati (KVX)
Referee Observer: Leif Sundell (SWE)

BK Häcken – FK Liepāja
Referee: Sergey Ivanov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Valeri Danchenko (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Dmitri Bereznev (RUS)
Fourth Official: Yevgeni Turbin (RUS)
Referee Observer: Igor Șațkii (MDA)

Progrès Niederkorn – Qabala İK
Referee: Keith Kennedy (NIR)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephen Donaldson (NIR)
Assistant Referee 2: Kristian Francis Hanna (NIR)
Fourth Official: Evan Boyce (NIR)
Referee Observer: Milan Karadžić (SRB)

FC Nordsjaelland – Cliftonville FC
Referee: Eitan Shmuelevitz (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Sagy Metzamber (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Avraham Goldstain (ISR)
Fourth Official: Idan Leiba (ISR)
Referee Observer: Helmut Fleischer (GER)

Beitar Jerusalem – Chikhura Sachkhere 

Referee: Marco Di Bello (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Matteo Passeri (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rodolfo Di Vuolo (ITA)
Fourth Official: Rosario Abisso (ITA)
Referee Observer: Manuel López Fernández (ESP)

KS Luftëtari – FK Ventspils
Referee: Anders Poulsen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jesper Dahl (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Henrik Sønderby (DEN)
Fourth Official: Peter Munch Larsen (DEN)
Referee Observer: Patrick Kelly (IRL)

FC København – KuPS Kuopio
Referee: Vilhjálmur Thórarinsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 1: Gylfi Sigurðsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2: Gunnar Gudmundsson (ISL)
Fourth Official: Thóroddur Hjaltalín (ISL)
Referee Observer: Iain Robertson Brines (SCO)

NK Maribor – FK Partizani
Referee: Paul Tierney (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Constantine Hatzidakis (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Adrian Holmes (ENG)
Fourth Official: Lee Mason (ENG)
Referee Observer: Kóstas Kapitanís (CYP)

FK Sarajevo – FC Banants
Referee: Lionel Tschudi (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Stéphane De Almeida (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Raffael Zeder (SUI)
Fourth Official: Fedayi San (SUI)
Referee Observer: Kjell Alseth (NOR)

AS Trenčín – Budućnost Podgorica
Referee: Sergey Lapochkin (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Aleksey Lebedev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksandr Kudryavtsev (RUS)
Fourth Official: Vitali Meshkov (RUS)
Referee Observer: Emil Božinovski (MKD)

OFK Titograd – B36 Tórshavn
Referee: Ömar Paşayev (AZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Namiq Hüseynov (AZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Mübariz Haşımov (AZE)
Fourth Official: Aliyar Ağayev (AZE)
Referee Observer: Patrițiu Abrudan (ROU)

FK Partizan – Rudar Pljevlja
Referee: Daniele Doveri (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Giallatini (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alfonso Marrazzo (ITA)
Fourth Official: Fabrizio Pasqua (ITA)
Referee Observer: Zbigniew Przesmycki (POL)

Coleraine FC – Spartak Subotica
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Alan Camilleri (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: Christopher Francalanza (MLT)
Fourth Official: Stefan Pace (MLT)
Referee Observer: Ján Fašung (SVK)

NK Osijek – Petroclub Sărata Galbenă
Referee: Dimítris Masiás (CYP)
Assistant Referee 1: Ioánnis Lazárou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Mários Kalogírou (CYP)
Fourth Official: Loúkas Sotiríou (CYP)
Referee Observer: Plarent Kotherja (ALB)

NSÍ Runavík – Hibernian FC
Referee: Luís Teixeira (AND)
Assistant Referee 1: Manuel Fernandes (AND)
Assistant Referee 2: Hugo Pereira (AND)
Fourth Official: Joan Serra (AND)
Referee Observer: Nicolae Grigorescu (ROU)

SP Tre Fiori – Rudar Velenje
Referee: Fyodor Zammit (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Duncan Sultana (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: William Debattista (MLT)
Fourth Official: Emanuel Grech (MLT)
Referee Observer: Dušan Krchňák (SVK)

Dundalk FC – Levadia Tallinn
Referee: Adrien Jaccottet (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Vital Jobin (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Jonas Erni (SUI)
Fourth Official: Pascal Erlachner (SUI)
Referee Observer: António Almeida (POR)

NK Domžale – Široki Brijeg
Referee: Antti Munukka (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonas Turunen (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jukka Honkanen (FIN)
Fourth Official: Mohammed Al-Emara (FIN)
Referee Observer: Geórgios Bíkas (GRE)

Újpest FC – Neftçi PFK
Referee: Anastásios Papapétrou (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Trýfon Petrópoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Vasílios Kamboúris (GRE)
Fourth Official: Ángelos Evangélou (GRE)
Referee Observer: Bernardino González Vázquez (ESP)

Hafnarfjördur – FC Lahti
Referee: Espen Eskås (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Øystein Ytterland (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Isaak Bashevkin (NOR)
Fourth Official: Rohit Saggi (NOR)
Referee Observer: Hans Reijgwart (NED)

UEFA Champions League – First Qualifying Round (Second Leg)

17-18 July 2018

Celtic – Alashkert
Referee: Horațiu Feșnic (ROU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mihai Artene (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Valentin Avram (ROU)
Fourth Official: Andrei Chivulete (ROU)
Referee Observer: Jaap Uilenberg (NED)

HJK Helsinki – Víkingur
Referee: Duje Strukan (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Goran Perica (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Mario Pepur (CRO)
Fourth Official: Goran Gabrilo (CRO)
Referee Observer: Gevorg Hovhannisyan (ARM)

Apoel – Sūduva
Referee: Glenn Nyberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Magnus Sjöblom (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Fredrik Klyver (SWE)
Fourth Official: Magnus Lindgren (SWE)
Referee Observer: Draženko Kovačić (CRO)

Malmö FF – KF Drita
Referee: Laurent Kopriwa (LUX)
Assistant Referee 1: Claude Ries (LUX)
Assistant Referee 2: Gilles Becker (LUX)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Morais (LUX)
Referee Observer: Uno Tutk (EST)

Hapoel Beer Sheva – Flora Tallinn
Referee: Tomasz Musiał (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Radosław Siejka (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Mucha (POL)
Fourth Official: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
Referee Observer: Miroslav Vitković (CRO)

The New Saints – KF Shkëndija
Referee: Pavel Orel (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Petr Blažej (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Petr Caletka (CZE)
Fourth Official: Ondřej Lerch (CZE)
Referee Observer: Drago Kos (SVN)

Valletta FC – FK Kukësi
Referee: Igor Pajač (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivica Modrić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Vedran Djurak (CRO)
Fourth Official: Fran Jović (CRO)
Referee Observer: Shmuel Shteif (ISR)

Videoton FC – F91 Dudelange
Referee: Donald Robertson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Francis Connor (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Stuart Stevenson (SCO)
Fourth Official: Barry Cook (SCO)
Referee Observer: Robert Małek (POL)

Crvena Zvezda – Spartaks Jūrmala
Referee: Alper Ulusoy (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ekrem Kan (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ali Ögel (TUR)
Fourth Official: Arda Kardeşler (TUR)
Referee Observer: Sergey Zuyev (RUS)

Crusaders – Ludogorets
Referee: Roomer Tarajev (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Sten Klaasen (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Veiko Mõtsnik (EST)
Fourth Official: Siim Rinken (EST)
Referee Observer: Ilkka Koho (FIN)

Legia Warszawa – Cork City
Referee: Kai Erik Steen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Erik Engan (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tom Harald Grønevik (NOR)
Fourth Official: Kristoffer Hagenes (NOR)
Referee Observer: Goran Mihaljević (MNE)

FC Sheriff – Torpedo Kutaisi
Referee: Peter Andersen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Niels Brixen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Dennis Rasmussen (DEN)
Fourth Official: Jørgen Daugbjerg (DEN)
Referee Observer: Rune Pedersen (NOR)

Qarabağ FK – Olimpija Ljubljana
Referee: Erez Papir (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: David Bitton (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Eliyahu Casapu (ISR)
Fourth Official: David Fuxman (ISR)
Referee Observer: Sokol Jareci (ALB)

HŠK Zrinjski – Spartak Trnava
Referee: Julian Weinberger (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Maximilian Kolbitsch (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Andreas Heidenreich (AUT)
Fourth Official: Markus Hameter (AUT)
Referee Observer: Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)

Rosenborg BK – Valur Reykjavík
Referee: Stefan Apostolov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Veselin Dobriyanov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Petar Dzhuganski (BUL)
Fourth Official: Ivaylo Stoyanov (BUL)
Referee Observer: Robert Sedlacek (AUT)

FK Sutjeska – FC Astana
Referee: João Pinheiro (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rui Tavares (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Rodrigues (POR)
Fourth Official: Vítor Ferreira (POR)
Referee Observer: Marián Ružbarský (SVK)

CONMEBOL Copa Sudamericana – Second Round (First Leg)

17-19 July 2018

Sol de América – Nacional
Referee: Anderson Daronco (BRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Bruno Boschilia (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabricio Vilarinho (BRA)
Fourth Official: Wagner Magalhaes (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Francisco Mondria (CHI)

Caracas – Sport Huancayo
Referee: Ivo Méndez (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: José Antelo (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Montaño (BOL)
Fourth Official: Luis Yrusta (BOL)
Referee Assessor: José Buitrago (COL)

Lanús – Junior
Referee: Arnaldo Samaniego (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Milciades Saldívar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Cañete (PAR)
Fourth Official: Julio Quintana (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Darío Ubriaco (URU)

Defensa y Justicia – El Nacional
Referee: Piero Maza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Raúl Orellana (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Alejandro Molina (CHI)
Fourth Official: César Deischler (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Roberto Perassi (BRA)

Deportivo Cali – Bolívar
Referee: Fernando Espinoza (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Maximiliano Del Yesso (ARG)
Fourth Official: Jorge Baliño (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Carlos Torres (PAR)

Deportivo Cuenca – Jorge Wilstermann
Referee: Esteban Ostojich (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Richard Trinidad (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Popovits (URU)
Fourth Official: Gustavo Tejera (URU)
Referee Assessor: Candelario Andarcia (VEN)

Rampla Juniors – Independiente Santa Fe
Referee: Carlos Orbe (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Edwin Bravo (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Flavio Nall (ECU)
Fourth Official: Guillermo Guerrero (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Saul Laverni (ARG)

24-26 July 2018

Junior – Lanus
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Kleber Gil (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Fourth Official: Luis Oliveira (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Carlos Herrera (ECU)

Sport Huancayo – Caracas
Referee: Nicolás Gallo (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Díaz (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: John León (COL)
Fourth Official: Carlos Herrera (COL)
Referee Assessor: Paulo Silva (ARG)

Bahía – Atletico Cerro
Referee: Michael Espinoza (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Coty Carrera (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Jesús Sánchez (PER)
Fourth Official: Joel Alarcón (PER)
Referee Assessor: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

LDU de Quito – Vasco Da Gama
Referee: Juan Soto (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Elbis Gómez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Lubin Torrealba (VEN)
Fourth Official: Jesús Valenzuela (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Jorge Jaimes (PER)

Boston River – Banfield
Referee: Andres Rojas (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Dionisio Ruiz (COL)
Fourth Official: Gustavo Murillo (COL)
Referee Assessor: Sergio Cristiano (BRA)

Atletico Paranaense – Peñarol
Referee: Fernando Rapallini (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabriel Chade (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Lucas Germanotta (ARG)
Fourth Official: Fernando Echenique (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Juan Lugones (BOL)

General Díaz – Millonarios
Referee: Gery Vargas (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Edwar Saavedra (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Reluy Vallejos (BOL)
Fourth Official: Juan García (BOL)
Referee Assessor: Rodolfo Otero (ARG)

San Lorenzo – Deportes Temuco
Referee: Rodolpho Toski (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodrigo Correa (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Guilherme Camilo (BRA)
Fourth Official: Wagner Reway (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Alberto Tejada (PER)

UEFA U-19 Euro 2018 – Group Stage (Matchday 1)

16 July 2018
Finland – Italy
Referee: Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Uroš Stojković (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Aron Härsing (EST)
Fourth Official: Bartosz Frankowski (POL)
Referee Observer: Karen Nalbandyan (ARM)

Norway – Portugal
Referee: Manuel Schüttengruber (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Damir Lazić (BIH)
Assistant Referee 2: Bojan Zobenica (CRO)
Fourth Official: Ville Nevalainen (FIN)
Referee Observer: Bo Karlsson (SWE)

17 July 2018
Turkey – England
Referee: Sandro Schärer (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Bryngeir Valdimarsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexandru Cerei (ROU)
Fourth Official: Petri Viljanen (FIN)
Referee Observer: Nikolai Levnikov (RUS)

France – Ukraine
Referee: Andrew Dallas (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Joakim Nilsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Ian Bird (WAL)
Fourth Official: Jonathan Lardot (BEL)
Referee Observer: Jouni Hyytia (FIN)

World Cup referee Faghani harassed over handshake

According to IranWire, the Iranian referee for the World Cup third place play-off between England and Belgium has threatened to leave Iran forever. Alireza Faghani made his comments following a scandal that emerged after he shook hands with a female colleague on Wednesday, July 11, during the England-Croatia game in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. Soon after, photographs of the handshake were posted and shared on social media. The Islamic Republic of Iran bans unrelated members of opposite sex from touching each other.
Faghani initially took a conciliatory tone when responding to the controversy. “Such behavior in cyberspace is only natural,” he said. “This lady is a colleague of mine and is also married to one of my closest referee friends. I am sorry for those who are looking for a scandal in such a situation.” But the controversy intensified. Just a day before he was to be a FIFA referee in the July 14 play-off, Iranian Football Federation security officials demanded an explanation. Faghani’s comments became more adamant and angry. “I don’t understand this,” he said. “I have known her since 2013 and I am close to both her and her spouse [Fernanda Colomba and Sandro Ricci]. When we met she congratulated me for my matches. If they want to create problems because of this, I tell you right now: I will leave… I will take my wife and my family and go.”
Alireza Faghani, who has been a FIFA referee since 2008, has a long and distinguished record as an international referee - from the 2014 Asian Champions League Final and the 2015 Asian Cup Final to the 2015 Club World Cup Final, the final match in the 2016 Summer Olympics, the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the third-place match in the 2018 World Cup.
Faghani's distinguished career helps bring prestige to Iranian football. But now he has threatened to abandon his home country, all because he shook hands with a female colleague in front of the cameras.

Source: IranWire

Pitana's path from film extra to World Cup final referee

Argentine Nestor Pitana’s roundabout route to becoming a World Cup final referee has taken in work as a film extra and as a security guard at a disco as well as a spell playing basketball at regional level. 
The 43-year-old from the small sub-tropical province of Misiones will become the second referee after compatriot Horacio Elizondo to officiate at both the opening match and final after being picked for Sunday’s match between France and Croatia. At 1.92 meters tall, Pitana is a physically imposing figure who, having learned his trade in the cut-and-thrust world of Argentine domestic football, does not take to being bullied by angry players. “Pitana is as strong as a rock,” Pierluigi Collina, the head of FIFA’s referees committee, told Argentine media at the start of the tournament. “He won’t allow himself to be taken in by the players’ protests and demands.” 
According to the statistics on website Transfermarkt, Pitana has refereed 347 professional games, shown 1,658 yellow cards and 108 red cards and awarded 81 penalties since his debut in 2007. Like any referee, he has not avoided being caught up in controversy. In a league match in April, he failed to see the Estudiantes goalkeeper had been unable to keep the ball in play while trying to prevent a corner and seconds later awarded Chacarita a penalty. “If I had been playing, the match probably would not have finished,” said furious Estudiantes president Juan Veron after his side’s 2-0 defeat. Pitana is also remembered for his part in a Superclasico derby in 2014 when River Plate scored a late winner from a corner that Boca Juniors claimed should not have been given. 
Having played basketball and football at regional level, Pitana took up refereeing and also studied physical education. He also took on odd jobs which included a minor acting role as a prison guard in the 1997 Argentine film “La Furia” as well as working as a lifeguard and a security guard at a disco. He made his refereeing debut in the top flight of Argentine football in 2007, became an international referee three years later and officiated at four matches at the last World Cup in Brazil. “For any kid who loves football, the dream is to get to the World Cup final,” he told FIFA’s website. “This team have worked so hard to get where we are, we’ve managed one of the greatest achievements in the world of refereeing. And now we want to finish the job, in the best way possible”. 

Source: Reuters

Webb reflects on heated 2010 final

While the world dissected Howard Webb, the English referee was conversing with his assistants. “I remember saying to my assistants over the radio, ‘This is not going as planned. This is not what we expected,” Webb told the Toronto Sun prior to this World Cup. 
It has been eight years since Webb took charge of a World Cup final that, like Sunday, also featured a pair of UEFA sides at Soccer City, Johannesburg. “I got lucky when Spain won,” Webb said. “We were three minutes away from kicks from the penalty mark to decide the game.” Webb admits he was, perhaps, three minutes from having his career alter course. However, he doesn’t shy away from addressing one of the most controversial incidents in World Cup history. At issue, of course, was Webb’s decision to caution Dutch hard man Nigel de Jong when he should have been sent off for karate kicking Spain’s Xabi Alonso midway through the first half. “The serious foul play challenge by Nigel de Jong (became) insignificant,” Webb responded. But while Webb’s decision didn’t impact the outcome, the former Premier League disciplinarian says it still impacts him. “I get reminded of it quite often,” he added. “If the Netherlands would have won that game, my career would have taken a different direction, for sure. So I got lucky.” 
Webb is one of just 20 referees to take charge of the biggest game on the planet. He’s among the elite group of officials who can recount the hours leading up to becoming the most-watched person in the world. “Looking back now - eight years later - it’s almost like looking back on someone else,” Webb said. “To think how you sleep the night before that game knowing what’s at stake… The sport is so huge globally,” he added. “It’s just such a significant thing to do.” He was “feeling pretty confident” as his team attended Soccer City the night before the final to get a feel for the behemoth venue. Webb recalls being tended to by technical instructors and physios. “On the morning of the game we sat back with a sports psychologist and looked back on all the big games we’d delivered well,” Webb said. “We drew strength from that. We had some technical instruction as to how the teams would play.” After all, La Furia Roja were in the midst of their “Tiki-taka” era and the Dutch offered a list of quality attackers. “The game was so much harder than I ever anticipated,” Webb remarked. “I just couldn’t have imagined it would be quite so physical.” In a match that ended with 13 cautions and a sending off, Webb reminisces about an early interaction that indicated things were going to be different. “There was (an early) tackle by Robin van Persie, who at the time played for Arsenal. I knew Robin pretty well. I’d refereed him a dozen times or so,” Webb said. “He committed a foul that wasn’t worthy of a caution, but it was worthy of a word of advice. “I spoke to Robin, but he seemed a little bit different in his demeanour towards me … He wasn’t quite as responsive as I’d expect during a Premier League game. “I guess it was the intensity of the occasion and these players knowing they were on the cusp of something great.” He had already cautioned four players inside the first 30 minutes when de Jong crushed Alonso. “(The cards) didn’t calm anything down,” Webb continued. “It kept coming and coming.” He adds Spanish defender Carlos Puyol would have been ejected had Arjen Robben gone down under a second-half challenge. “It would have been a sending off. It would have been for sure,” Webb interjected. But Webb correctly played advantage upon seeing Robben shrug off Puyol’s cynical challenge. With only the goalkeeper to beat, the Dutchman’s breakaway was denied by Iker Casillas, paving the way for Iniesta’s moment in extra time. But even that moment caused the English referee to hold his breath. “I’d already cautioned 12 players,” Webb pointed out. “When Iniesta took his shirt off to celebrate my heart sank because I’d lost a bit of track of who’d been cautioned. “I looked at my card … There was no ‘No. 6’ on the Spanish side (of my book). That was another piece of good fortune on my side.” While most of the talk and thoughts have centred around the players ahead of Sunday’s final between France and Croatia, Webb will be thinking of someone else. “I remember having dinner the night before the final in 2014. I’d been with (World Cup final referee Nicola Rizzoli) and remember thinking I… could imagine how he was feeling,” Webb said. “I didn’t really wish I was going into that game the following day. You just know that it’s something that will change your life. Hopefully it goes well and nobody is remembering you for the wrong reason, but that can happen.” 
Former World Cup referee Howard Webb didn’t have video assistant referees, making life all the more difficult for old-school officials. “The results… are extremely clear and extremely positive,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said, according to The Daily Telegraph. There have been 440 “checks” during this World Cup, with 19 reviews and 16 decision changes. “VAR is cleaning football, making it more transparent and honest, helping referees to make decisions,” Infantino continued, claiming 99.32% of calls at this tournament have been correct. “Offside goals are finished in football, at least with VAR. You will never see an offside goal scored because with VAR you either are, or you are not, offside. How many times have you (the media) been writing about this: Is he offside or not? Now you will have other arguments because offside is finished.” Webb told the Sun that VAR helps World Cup referees sleep better at night. 

Source: Toronto Sun

Pitana: “It's an indescribable feeling”

Nestor Pitana to referee FIFA World Cup Final, only the second man to take charge of both opening match and final: "I could compare being selected to when I was told that I was going to be a father". 
For the second time in the history of the FIFA World Cup, the same man will have the responsibility – and honour – of refereeing both the Opening Game and the Final. The referee in question is none other than Argentinian Nestor Pitana who, accompanied by Hernan Maidana and Juan Pablo Belatti, will match the feat achieved by his compatriot Horacio Elizondo at Germany 2006. Just hours after the announcement was made, the 43-year-old and his two assistants spoke exclusively with FIFA.com. They discussed the emotions that they were going through, the challenge awaiting them in Moscow and the preparations required to take on such an important assignment. 
- FIFA.com: Nestor, congratulations on your appointment. How would you describe this moment? 
- Nestor Pitana: Very rarely have I experienced anything comparable in my life. That feeling, that excitement. Maybe I could compare it with the moment when I was told that I was going to be a father. In terms of the sacrifice, the responsibility that it involves. For any kid who loves football, the dream is to get to the World Cup Final. This team have worked so hard to get where we are, we’ve managed one of the greatest achievements in the world of refereeing. And now we want to finish the job, in the best way possible. 
- What is the key to receiving such an honour? 
- Juan Pablo Belatti: Work and more work. We’ve invested a lot of our time in something we’re passionate about. Hours spent away from our friends and family. We put a lot of energy into it. What we felt when they announced our names, that mixture of emotions coursing through our bodies, only someone who experiences the daily routine of this profession can explain it. We’re very happy and very committed. 
- The match will feature two great teams in the shape of France and Croatia. What is your opinion of them? 
- Hernan Maidana: They’re both big teams who have got where they are through hard work, through careful planning. They’ve earned it, they deserve it. And it’s a similar story for us. We’ve worked very hard to get where we are. Just as they’ve got their challenge, we’ve got ours. This team that we’ve built has a great opportunity. And doing a good job won’t be enough; we’ve got to do an excellent job. 
- Is there a special secret to planning for a World Cup Final? 
- Pitana: I don’t think so. We won’t change what we’ve been doing up until now. We’ll be very focused as always, that’s what has got us here. 
- Belatti: I wouldn’t say that we have superstitions, but we do have our own certain rituals and habits. We’ll stick to them because that’s how we are. Along the way we’ve always had our mate, our music and jokes to help us to let off steam. But also the odd hug, a word of encouragement, a quick glance that reminds us that we’re here for one another. That’s how we work and we’re not going to change it. We’re going to give everything we’ve been giving up until now and more, that little bit extra. But in terms of our preparations, we’ll carry on in the same vein. 
- We know that you really like music, as you mentioned recently. So right at this moment, what rhythm are your hearts beating to? 
- Pitana: I like all music, I can go from reggaeton all the way to something more classical. But at times like this, it’s a total mixture of rhythms. The happiness is so great that I can’t describe it. I’d say that the mixture is so big that we’d give rise to a new style that has never been heard before (laughs). 

Source: FIFA

FIFA World Cup Final 2018: Pitana (ARG)

Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana, along with his assistants Hernan Maidana and Juan Pablo Belatti, will officiate the Final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. 
Pitana, a 43-year-old physical education teacher, has already refereed four matches at Russia 2018, taking charge of Russia v Saudi Arabia (Opening Game) and Mexico v Sweden in the group stages, the Round of 16 match between Croatia and Denmark, as well as the quarter-final between Uruguay and France. Pitana has been an international referee since 2010. He is the second Argentinian referee to participate in two World Cups after Norberto Coerezza, who oversaw two games in 1970 and one in 1978. After Horacio Elizondo in 2006, he becomes the second Argentinian referee to officiate a World Cup Final. 
Pitana is one of South America’s most experienced referees and also has playing experience at youth level. Three games an the U-17 World Cup in 2013 preceded a call-up the following year for the World Cup in Brazil, where Pitana supervised four fixtures, including France v Germany in the quarter-finals. In 2015, he was called up for his first, and so far only, Copa America, in addition to handling River Plate v Huracan in the final of the Supercopa Argentina. Pitana returned to Brazil in 2016 for the Olympic Football Tournament, where he was the man in the middle for the semi-final between Germany and Nigeria. In 2017 he took charge of the Confederations Cup semi-final between Germany and Mexico.

15 July 2018
France – Croatia
Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Fourth Official: Björn Kuipers (NED)
Reserve AR: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
VAR: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
AVAR 1: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
AVAR 2: Carlos Astroza (CHI)
AVAR 3: Danny Makkelie (NED)

FIFA World Cup 2018 – Match for Third Place

14 July 2018

Belgium – England

Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Reza Sokhandan (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammadreza Mansouri (IRN)
Fourth Official: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)
Reserve AR: Djibril Camara (SEN)
VAR: Mark Geiger (USA)
AVAR 1: Bastian Dankert (GER)
AVAR 2: Joe Fletcher (CAN)
AVAR 3: Paolo Valeri (ITA)

UEFA Europa League – First Qualifying Round (First Leg)

10-12 July 2018

Rangers – Shkupi
Referee: Christian Dingert (GER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mike Pickel (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Tobias Christ (GER)
Fourth Official: Harm Osmers (GER)
Referee Observer: Fredy Fautrel (FRA)

KÍ Klaksvík – Žalgiris Vilnius 

Referee: Alain Durieux (LUX)
Assistant Referee 1: David Santos (LUX)
Assistant Referee 2: Tom Hansen (LUX)
Fourth Official: Frank Bourgnon (LUX)
Referee Observer: Manuel Mejuto González (ESP)

FC Samtredia – Tobol Kostanay
Referee: Tim Marshall (NIR)
Assistant Referee 1: David Anderson (NIR)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrew Nethery (NIR)
Fourth Official: Lee Tavinder (NIR)
Referee Observer: Boško Jovanetić (SRB)

FC Banants – FK Sarajevo
Referee: Rohit Saggi (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Morten Jensen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Geir Isaksen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Espen Eskås (NOR)
Referee Observer: Ichko Lozev (BUL)

Rabotnički – Budapest Honvéd
Referee: Kristo Tohver (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Neeme Neemlaid (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Aron Härsing (EST)
Fourth Official: Tomi Rahula (EST)
Referee Observer: Ingi Jónsson (ISL)

FC Vaduz – Levski Sofia
Referee: Fran Jović (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivica Modrić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Hrvoje Radić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Igor Pajač (CRO)
Referee Observer: Rodger Gifford (WAL)

Fola Esch – FC Prishtina
Referee: Ívar Kristjánsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 1: Birkir Sigurdarson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2: Bryngeir Valdimarsson (ISL)
Fourth Official: Vilhjálmur Thórarinsson (ISL)
Referee Observer: Darko Čeferin (SVN)

Glenavon FC – Molde FK
Referee: Mads-Kristoffer Kristoffersen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Dennis Rasmussen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Lars Hummelgaard (DEN)
Fourth Official: Jørgen Daugbjerg (DEN)
Referee Observer: Bertrand Layec (FRA)

FC Pyunik – FK Vardar
Referee: Michal Očenáš (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomáš Vorel (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Michal Tomčík (SVK)
Fourth Official: Peter Ziemba (SVK)
Referee Observer: Nikolay Ivanov (RUS)

FK Ventspils – KS Luftëtari
Referee: Vasílis Dimitríou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 1: Mários Dimitriádis (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Pávlos Georgíou (CYP)
Fourth Official: Giórgos Nikoláou (CYP)
Referee Observer: Alieh Čykun (BLR)

Chikhura Sachkhere – Beitar Jerusalem
Referee: Kai Erik Steen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Erik Engan (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jon-Michael Knutsen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Trygve Kjensli (NOR)
Referee Observer: Johan Verbist (BEL)

FK Partizani – NK Maribor
Referee: Jérôme Brisard (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Benjamin Pagès (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Philippe Jeanne (FRA)
Fourth Official: Johan Hamel (FRA)
Referee Observer: Markus Nobs (SUI)

Rudar Velenje – SP Tre Fiori
Referee: Luís Godinho (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Luís Campos (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: António Albino (POR)
Fourth Official: António Carvalho (POR)
Referee Observer: Niklas Líðarenda (FRO)

Ilves Tampere – Slaviya Sofia
Referee: Krzysztof Jakubik (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Arkadiusz Wójcik (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Niemirowski (POL)
Fourth Official: Zbigniew Dobrynin (POL)
Referee Observer: Aleksey Spirin (RUS)

Qabala İK – Progrès Niederkorn
Referee: Veaceslav Banari (MDA)
Assistant Referee 1: Vasile Ermișchin (MDA)
Assistant Referee 2: Dumitru Ciobanu (MDA)
Fourth Official: Andrei Cojocaru (MDA)
Referee Observer: Igor Pristovnik (CRO)

FC Lahti – Hafnarfjördur
Referee: Yaroslav Kozyk (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Oleksandr Korniyko (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Andriy Skrypka (UKR)
Fourth Official: Oleksandr Derdo (UKR)
Referee Observer: Albano Janku (ALB)

Narva Trans – FK Željezničar
Referee: Daniyar Sakhi (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 1: Sergey Kalachov (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 2: Sergey Vasyutin (KAZ)
Fourth Official: Grigoriy Moskovchenko (KAZ)
Referee Observer: Raymond Ellingham (WAL)

FK Trakai – Irtysh Pavlodar
Referee: Fábio Veríssimo (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Paulo Soares (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Rui Teixeira (POR)
Fourth Official: João Capela (POR)
Referee Observer: Kaj Østergaard (DEN)

Levadia Tallinn – Dundalk FC
Referee: Bojan Nikolić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milan Minić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dejan Potočan (SRB)
Fourth Official: Dragan Čolović (SRB)
Referee Observer: William Young (SCO)

KuPS Kuopio – FC København
Referee: Kirill Levnikov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Viacheslav Semenov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Yegor Bolkhovitin (RUS)
Fourth Official: Vladimir Moskalov (RUS)
Referee Observer: Vadims Direktorenko (LVA)

FK Liepāja – BK Häcken
Referee: Marco Guida (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Costanzo (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Ciro Carbone (ITA)
Fourth Official: Fabio Maresca (ITA)
Referee Observer: Cyril Zimmermann (SUI)

FC Stumbras – Apollon Limassol
Referee: Giorgi Vadachkoria (GEO)
Assistant Referee 1: Zaza Menteshashvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 2: Davit Chigogidze (GEO)
Fourth Official: Goga Kikacheishvili (GEO)
Referee Observer: Jan Carlsen (DEN)

Neftçi PFK – Újpest FC
Referee: Dennis Higler (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Joost van Zuilen (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Johan Balder (NED)
Fourth Official: Siemen Mulder (NED)
Referee Observer: Stávros Tritsónis (GRE)

Derry City – Dinamo Minsk
Referee: Nikola Popov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivo Kolev (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Georgi Todorov (BUL)
Fourth Official: Nikolay Yordanov (BUL)
Referee Observer: Fritz Stuchlik (AUT)

Nomads FC – Shakhtyor Soligorsk
Referee: Juri Frischer (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Silver Kõiv (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Dmitri Vinogradov (EST)
Fourth Official: Joonas Jaanovits (EST)
Referee Observer: Vlado Svilokos (CRO)

Petroclub Sărata Galbenă – NK Osijek
Referee: Karim Abed (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Julien Pacelli (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mikaël Berchebru (FRA)
Fourth Official: Olivier Thual (FRA)
Referee Observer: Leslie Irvine (NIR)

Anorthosis Famagusta – KF Laçi
Referee: José Sánchez Martínez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: José Gallego García (ESP)
Fourth Official: Santiago Jaime Latre (ESP)
Referee Observer: Andreas Schluchter (SUI)

Ferencvárosi TC – Maccabi Tel Aviv
Referee: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Barbero Sevilla (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Jon Núñez Fernández (ESP)
Fourth Official: José González González (ESP)
Referee Observer: Dejan Filipović (SRB)

Balzan FC – Keşla FK
Referee: Volen Chinkov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Georgi Doynov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Deniz Sokolov (BUL)
Fourth Official: Dragomir Draganov (BUL)
Referee Observer: Pjetur Sigurdsson (ISL)

Milsami Orhei – Slovan Bratislava
Referee: Vitaliy Romanov (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Serhiy Bekker (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Semen Shlonchak (UKR)
Fourth Official: Denys Shurman (UKR)
Referee Observer: Jørn West Larsen (DEN)

CSKA Sofia – Riga FC
Referee: Mario Zebec (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Borut Križarić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Jerko Crnčić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
Referee Observer: Lassin Isaksen (FRO)

Široki Brijeg – NK Domžale
Referee: Petr Ardeleánu (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomáš Mokrusch (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Petr Blažej (CZE)
Fourth Official: Ondřej Berka (CZE)
Referee Observer: Erol Ersoy (TUR)

Union Lëtzebuerg – FC Viitorul
Referee: Alex Troleis (FRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Dan Højgaard (FRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Jón Johannesen (FRO)
Fourth Official: Bjarki Danielsen (FRO)
Referee Observer: Edward Foley (IRL)

B36 Tórshavn – OFK Titograd
Referee: Aleksandrs Anufrijevs (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Valdis Koritko (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Deniss Ševčenko (LVA)
Fourth Official: Mareks Ķere (LVA)
Referee Observer: Alain Hamer (LUX)

Górnik Zabrze – Zaria Bălți
Referee: Filip Glova (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: František Ferenc (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Ádám (SVK)
Fourth Official: Adam Somoláni (SVK)
Referee Observer: Juan Fernández Marín (ESP)

UE Engordany – Kairat Almaty
Referee: Iwan Griffith (WAL)
Assistant Referee 1: Gareth Jones (WAL)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Beckett (WAL)
Fourth Official: Nicholas Pratt (WAL)
Referee Observer: Marco Borg (MLT)

ÍBV Vestmannaeyjar – Sarpsborg FF
Referee: Nicolas Walsh (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Graeme Stewart (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Sean Carr (SCO)
Fourth Official: Euan Anderson (SCO)
Referee Observer: Kaj Natri (FIN)

Shamrock Rovers – AIK
Referee: Alexander Harkam (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Witschnigg (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Steinacher (AUT)
Fourth Official: Gerhard Grobelnik (AUT)
Referee Observer: Michel Piraux (BEL)

Rudar Pljevlj – FK Partizan
Referee: Stuart Attwell (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Harry Lennard (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Cook (ENG)
Fourth Official: David Coote (ENG)
Referee Observer: Miroslav Tulinger (CZE)

Budućnost Podgorica – AS Trenčín
Referee: Mete Kalkavan (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ceyhun Sesigüzel (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Esat Sancaktar (TUR)
Fourth Official: Suat Arslanboğa (TUR)
Referee Observer: Konrad Plautz (AUT)

Spartak Subotica – Coleraine FC
Referee: Aleksey Matyunin (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Aleksey Lunov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Dmitriy Cheltsov (RUS)
Fourth Official: Roman Galimov (RUS)
Referee Observer: Ferenc Székely (HUN)

Cliftonville – Nordsjaelland
Referee: Sándor Andó-Szabó (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Balázs Szert (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Zsolt Varga (HUN)
Fourth Official: Csaba Pintér (HUN)
Referee Observer: Kristinn Jakobsson (ISL)

Lech Poznań – Gandzasar Kapan
Referee: Yigal Frid (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Idan Yarkoni (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Nati Dotan (ISR)
Fourth Official: Ziv Adler (ISR)
Referee Observer: Marcel Vanelshocht (BEL)

Hibernian FC – NSÍ Runavík
Referee: Manfredas Lukjančukas (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Aleksandr Radiuš (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Edgaras Bučinskas (LTU)
Fourth Official: Donatas Šimėnas (LTU)
Referee Observer: Nuno Castro (POR)

Dunajská Streda – Dinamo Tbilisi
Referee: Irfan Peljto (BIH)
Assistant Referee 1: Senad Ibrišimbegović (BIH)
Assistant Referee 2: Davor Beljo (BIH)
Fourth Official: Haris Kaljanac (BIH)
Referee Observer: Lucílio Batista (POR)

Radnički Niš – Gżira United FC
Referee: Jason Barcelo (GIB)
Assistant Referee 1: Johan Ward (GIB)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrew Parody (GIB)
Fourth Official: Patrick Canepa (GIB)
Referee Observer: Ladislav Gádoši (SVK)

Stjarnan – Nõmme Kalju
Referee: Radek Příhoda (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivo Nádvorník (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Jiří Kříž (CZE)
Fourth Official: Miroslav Zelinka (CZE)
Referee Observer: Dragutin Poljak (CRO)

UEFA Champions League – First Qualifying Round (First Leg)

10-11 July 2018

Flora Tallinn – Hapoel Beer Sheva
Referee: Erik Lambrechts (BEL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Thibaud Nijssen (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Pieter Becquet (BEL)
Fourth Official: Nathan Verboomen (BEL)
Referee Observer: Elmir Pilav (BIH)

Torpedo Kutaisi – FC Sheriff
Referee: Aleksandrs Golubevs (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Jevgeņijs Morozovs (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Raimonds Tatriks (LVA)
Fourth Official: Andris Treimanis (LVA)
Referee Observer: Tomasz Mikulski (POL)

F91 Dudelange – Videoton FC
Referee: Zaven Hovhannisyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 1: Mesrop Ghazaryan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 2: Atom Sevgulyan (ARM)
Fourth Official: Suren Baliyan (ARM)
Referee Observer: Manuel Diaz Vega (ESP)

Alashkert – Celtic
Referee: Danilo Grujić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Vladimir Jovanović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dragan Bogićević (SRB)
Fourth Official: Novak Simović (SRB)
Referee Observer: Stefano Podeschi (SMR)

Víkingur – HJK Helsinki
Referee: Robert Hennessy (IRL)
Assistant Referee 1: Allen Lynch (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Dermot Broughton (IRL)
Fourth Official: Robert Rogers (IRL)
Referee Observer: Jon Skjervold (NOR)

KF Shkëndija – The New Saints
Referee: Timótheos Christofí (CYP)
Assistant Referee 1: Michális Sotiríou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Charálampos Georgíou (CYP)
Fourth Official: Chrysovalándis Theoulí (CYP)
Referee Observer: Stefan Messner (AUT)

Cork City – Legia Warszawa
Referee: Radu Petrescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mircea Grigoriu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Marcel Bîrsan (ROU)
Referee Observer: Domenico Messina (ITA)

FC Astana – FK Sutjeska
Referee: Ferenc Karakó (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: István Albert (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Péter Kóbor (HUN)
Fourth Official: Péter Solymosi (HUN)
Referee Observer: Michael Ross (NIR)

FK Sūduva – Apoel FC
Referee: Fedayi San (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Stéphane De Almeida (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Sladan Josipovic (SUI)
Fourth Official: Lionel Tschudi (SUI)
Referee Observer: Levan Paniashvili (GEO)

Spartaks Jūrmala – Crvena Zvezda
Referee: Mykola Balakin (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Volodymyr Vysotskyy (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Viktor Matyash (UKR)
Fourth Official: Anatoli Abdula (UKR)
Referee Observer: Charles Agius (MLT)

Spartak Trnava – HŠK Zrinjski
Referee: Dzianis Shcharbakou (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yuri Khomchanka (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrey Hetsikau (BLR)
Fourth Official: Siarhey Tsynkevich (BLR)
Referee Observer: Eyjólfur Ólafsson (ISL)

PFC Ludogorets – Crusaders FC
Referee: Dumitru Muntean (MDA)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrei Bodean (MDA)
Assistant Referee 2: Vladislav Lifciu (MDA)
Fourth Official: Vladislav Ivancenco (MDA)
Referee Observer: Michális Argyroú (CYP)

FK Kukësi – Valletta FC
Referee: Thóroddur Hjaltalín (ISL)
Assistant Referee 1: Frosti Gunnarsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2: Oddur Gudmundsson (ISL)
Fourth Official: Thorvaldur Árnason (ISL)
Referee Observer: Muharrem Aksoy (TUR)

Olimpija Ljubljana – Qarabağ FK
Referee: Lawrence Visser (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Karel De Rocker (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Jo De Weirdt (BEL)
Fourth Official: Bram Van Driessche (BEL)
Referee Observer: Paulius Malžinskas (LTU)

Valur Reykjavík – Rosenborg BK
Referee: Rade Obrenovič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Grega Kordež (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomislav Pospeh (SVN)
Fourth Official: Asmir Sagrkovič (SVN)
Referee Observer: Jens Larsen (DEN)

FIFA World Cup 2018 – Semi-finals

10 July 2018
France – Belgium
Referee: Andres Cunha (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Fourth Official: Cesar Ramos (MEX)
Reserve AR: Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
VAR: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
AVAR 1: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
AVAR 2: Roberto Diaz Perez (ESP)
AVAR 3: Paolo Valeri (ITA)

11 July 2018
Croatia – England
Referee: Cüneyt Cakir (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)
Fourth Official: Björn Kuipers (NED) 

Reserve AR: Sander van Roekel (NED)
VAR: Danny Makkelie (NED)
AVAR 1: Bastian Dankert (GER)
AVAR 2: Carlos Astroza (CHI)
AVAR 3: Felix Zwayer (GER)

Match officials retained for final phase of FIFA World Cup 2018

The FIFA Referees Committee has retained 12 referees, 26 assistant referees and 10 video assistant referees for the final phase of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Given the fact that there are only four games to play, the number of referees has been reduced again.

AFC: Alireza Faghani (IRN) 
CAF: Malang Diedhiou (SEN, photo) 
CONCACAF: Mark Geiger (USA), Cesar Ramos (MEX) 
CONMEBOL: Andres Cunha (URU), Nestor Pitana (ARG), Sandro Ricci (BRA) 
OFC: Matthew Conger (NZL) 
UEFA: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR), Bjorn Kuipers (NED), Milorad Mazic (SRB), Gianluca Rocchi (ITA). 

Assistant Referees 
The 23 ARs of the 12 referee teams retained less Frank Anderson (USA), plus Mark Borsch (GER), Roberto Diaz Perez (ESP) and Carlos Astroza (CHI) - for the AVAR 2 role.

Video Assistant Referees 
CONMEBOL: Wilton Sampaio (BRA), Mauro Vigliano (ARG) 
UEFA: Bastian Dankert (GER), Artur Dias (POR), Pawel Gil (POL), Massimiliano Irrati (ITA), Danny Makkelie (NED), Daniele Orsato (ITA), Paolo Valeri (ITA), Felix Zwayer (GER).

CAF suspended 22 referees

On 7 July 2018, the Disciplinary Board of CAF held a meeting in order to decide over the cases of the referees named in media. 
The following decisions were taken by the CAF Disciplinary Board regarding the referees involved: 
1. Mr. Marwa Range, Assistant Referee (Kenya): life ban from all CAF related football activities; 
2. Mr. Boukari Ouedraogo, Referee (Burkina Faso): 5 years ban from all CAF related football activities; 
3. Mr. Denis Dembele, Referee (Cote d’Ivoire): 6 years ban from all CAF related football activities; 
4. Mr. Marius Tan, Assistant Referee (Cote d’Ivoire): 2 years ban from all CAF related football activities; 
5. Mr. Bi Valere Gouho, Assistant Referee (Cote d’Ivoire): 2 years ban from all CAF related football activities; 
6. Mr. Coulibay Abou, Referee (Cote d’Ivoire): 2 years ban from all CAF related football activities; 
7. Mr. Jallow Ebrima, Assistant Referee (Gambia): 10 years ban from all CAF related football activities; 
8. Mr. Moriba Diakite, Assistant Referee (Mali): 5 years ban from all CAF related football activities; 
9. Mr. Demba Boubou, Assistant Referee (Mauritania): 5 years ban from all CAF related football activities; 
10. Mr. Maman Raja Abba Malan Ousseini, Assistant Referee (Niger): 5 years ban from all CAF related football activities; 
11. Mr. Yanissou Bebou, Referee (Togo): 10 years ban from all CAF related football activities. 

The following officials are provisionally suspended pending their appearance in front of the Disciplinary Board on 5 August 2018: 
1. Mr. Lathbridge Reginald, Referee (Ghana) 
2. Mr. Bello Aboudou, Referee (Ghana) 
3. Mr. Nantierre Eric, Assistant Referee (Ghana) 
4. Mr. Fleischer Cecil, Referee (Ghana) 
5. Mr. Anafo Nathan, Referee (Ghana) 
6. Mr. Ouedraogo Dawood, Referee (Ghana) 
7. Mr. Salifu Malik, Assistant Referee (Ghana) 
8. Mrs. Akongyam Theresa, Women Assistant Referee (Ghana) 
9. Mr. Badiu Brahim, Assistant Referee (Ghana) 
10. Mr. Yekeh Jerry, Referee (Liberia) 
11. Mr. David Laryea, Assistant Referee (Ghana) 

Source: CAF

Marelli: A serious VAR error in Brazil - Belgium?

Former Serie A referee Luca Marelli analyzed the most important moment of the quarter-final Brazil - Belgium, when Gabriel Jesus falls to the ground after a contract with the Belgian captain Kompany. Mazic immediately indicates goal kick, among the protests of Brazilian players. The contact leaves room for doubt: was it a foul with the ball on the pitch or already out? In the two still images are reported the moments of the two separate contacts between Kompany and Gabriel Jesus. The first happens with the ball on the field, the second with the ball already clearly out. 
Is there a foul on the first contact? Very few doubts: the last two images are linked to the first picture, with the ball clearly in play. Kompany carries out a tackle with his right leg, which completely lacks the ball going to impact Gabriel Jesus' right ankle. 
On the second contact we can discuss for hours, but it would become a discussion of style since the decisive moment is the previous one. The position of Mazic is interesting: he is far from the action, blocked by a Belgian player. Impossible that he could see with absolute certainty what happened. Is this a clear and obvious mistake? The answer, even in this case, is affirmative: we are facing an obvious oversight that should have been corrected by the VAR. After almost two minutes of waiting, Mazic gets the endorsement of the decision taken by the VAR room, allowing the restart of the game with a goal kick. It was a decision that, in reality, caught everyone by surprise. This is a mistake that is easy enough to identify. It remains to understand what happened in the VAR room. From the beginning there was a certain excitement, particularly between Orsato (VAR) and Zwayer (German referee with the function of AVAR 3, a sort of supervisor with the specific task of checking that the protocol is used within the permitted limits). It is clear that between the two of them there is diversity of views. After having noticed a particular moment, it seems certain that Orsato's intention was to call Mazic to "on field review".
There is a still image (from the video you notice that the action has been stopped) and we can see that the ball is clearly within the playing field. For this reason we deduce that Orsato had deemed Kompany's first tackle irregular and decided to recommend the review. The discussion has been going on for a while (about a minute) and it immediately became apparent that Orsato and Zwayer disagreed with the choice to be made. 
In the end they decide not to call Mazic to the review and Orsato does not bother to avoid a gesture of disappointment. The gestures are fundamental in this case: the raised palm indicating the surprise of Orsato not finding the agreement of Zwayer that, in the end, manages to impose its vision. The major responsibility is certainly of Zwayer who, in the role of AVAR 3, has definitely gone beyond his duties, invading the sphere of expertise of Orsato, chosen as VAR. But it cannot be overlooked that even Orsato, precisely because of his position as VAR, had to insist on advising his colleague on the field to carry out an "on field review".

Source: Luca Marelli